Once again, the Pittsburgh Penguins showed their resilience. Their coach hopes they can make it a little easier on themselves, though.
Evgeni Malkin scored twice, including the tiebreaker in the third period, and Sidney Crosby also had two goals to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-4 comeback victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.
Matt Cullen also scored for the Penguins, who tallied three times in a 55-second span late in the first period while opening a four-game road trip with their fourth win in the last five. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 38 shots while making his ninth straight start (6-2-1).
Pittsburgh came back from a two-goal deficit to win for the third time this season.
"That speaks to the resilience of the group," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "We know we have what it takes. We can come back in games. It speaks to the character in our room, which is great."
On the other hand, Sullivan would like to see the victories come easier.
"I'd like to see us be more proactive than reactive," he said.
Jakub Voracek scored twice for the Flyers, and Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds each had one for Philadelphia. Steve Mason started and gave up three goals on 13 shots in the first period. Michal Neuvirth replaced him to start the second and finished with 12 saves on 14 shots.
The Flyers were mostly encouraged with their effort.
"It's a tough loss but I would say one of our better games this year," Voracek said.
Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said: "We don't have to change anything. We have to tighten up a couple of things. Tonight it wasn't enough. Sometimes that's the way the game is. There's no solace in it, but also there's no discouragement either."
Matt Murray, who led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup last season, was available as Fleury's backup. Murray, recovering from a broken hand, hasn't played this season.
Malkin put the Penguins ahead for good at 8:33 of the third with his milestone goal. Olli Maatta threw the puck toward the net. It bounced off the leg of Philadelphia's Brandon Manning and to the back post, where a wide-open Malkin shot past Neuvirth.
"Lucky goal," Malkin said. "The puck just came to my stick and I had an empty net."
Malkin's game-winner was his 300th career goal.
Crosby, who missed the first six games due to a concussion, has four goals and five points in three games since returning.
"The fact that he's come back and done what he's done in the short term doesn't surprise me one bit," Sullivan said. "He's a tremendous competitor. I know what this means to him. He's a focused guy. He's really enjoyed a lot of success over the last year and I think he's hungry for more."
Trailing 2-0, the Penguins scored three goals during an electrifying 55 seconds late in the first period.
Crosby beat Mason short side from a bad angle with a top shelf wrist shot with 4:16 left in the period.
"Just pick your head up and see what's there," Crosby said of the goal.
Forty-three seconds later, Crosby netted a power-play goal after one-timing a pass from Patric Hornqvist in the slot that whizzed by Mason. And Cullen ended the onslaught with a wraparound tally with 3:21 remaining.
"We were able to get some momentum," Crosby said. "Getting that power-play goal was big to build off that first goal."
The only other time Philadelphia allowed three goals in 55 seconds or less was Nov. 23, 1991, when the Devils tallied three in 42 seconds in the second period of a 5-5 tie.
Pittsburgh capitalized on a turnover by Sean Couturier to take a 4-2 lead on Malkin's goal midway through the second period.
The Flyers got back within one goal on Giroux's power-play tally with 6:44 remaining in the period. Radko Gudas made a stellar play to keep the puck in the offensive zone before Wayne Simmonds fed Giroux for a one-timer from the slot that beat Fleury on the glove side.
The play was upheld after a lengthy review to determine whether Philadelphia was offside on the play.
And the Flyers tied it 2:12 later on Voracek's penalty shot, which was awarded after the Flyers' right wing was pulled down by Brian Dumoulin on a breakaway attempt.
NOTES: The Flyers were playing their fifth game in eight nights and were on the front end of a back-to-back. ... Giroux extended his points streak to eight straight games. ... Pittsburgh D Kris Letang (upper body) missed his fifth straight game but is close to a return. ... Voracek's penalty shot snapped a string of six straight misses and was Philadelphia's first successful conversion since Matt Read's tally on Nov. 13, 2011. ... The Flyers scored first for just the second time this season and now have three first-period goals on the season. ... Malkin is the sixth Penguins player to reach 300 goals. Mario Lemieux tops the list with 690.
Penguins: At Anaheim on Wednesday.
Flyers: At Carolina on Sunday.